1-DAY TOUR IN NAGANO: SNOW MONKEYS, ZENKO-JI TEMPLE, AND SAKE
- Take photos with the world-famous snow monkeys
- Enjoy lunch at the restaurant nearby the Snow Monkey Park
- Explore the famous Zenkoji Temple
- Shop at Nakamise street
- Try Japanese sake at the local sake brewery
A great tour for all seasons, this is a one-day guided tour around the most famous attractions of Nagano City and Jigokudani or “Hell’s Valley”, home to the Snow Monkeys.You will take a scenic route to see the cutest monkeys in the world and afterwards experience the peaceful atmosphere of Zenkoji Temple, and the bustling Nakamise shopping street.
Our guide will meet you at Nagano Station at 8:45 am (our guide will be there by 8:30 am). From Nagano Station you will take public transport to the Snow Monkeys which are world-famous for their rare habit of soaking in the hot spring and living in the snow, these amazing macaques will let you get really close to them for some great photo opportunities. This experience will be unforgettable. After saying goodbye to the snow monkeys you will stroll back along the tranquil forest trail.
Then you will have a delicious lunch at the restaurant nearby the trail exit before heading off to Zenko-ji Temple. After lunch, you will get to the station nearby Zenko-ji Temple by public transport and walk to the temple entrance. Famous for being the temple to hold the first Buddhist statue in Japan. Zenkoji Temple has a special energy, and welcomes people of all faiths and religions. The temple grounds are beautiful and tranquil; there are hidden gems to explore, such as the dark tunnel which runs under the temple and is where you can gain enlightenment by finding the “Key To Paradise”.
After exploring Zenko-ji Temple, we will visit one of the most historic sake breweries in Nagano where you get the opportunity to try several types of sake. Nagano is one of the regions in Japan with a very active production of sake. Clean spring water in combination with a climate suitable for rice production creates the optimal environment for high quality sake. You can find yourself a good souvenir at Nagano’s beloved sake brewery.
After the visit to the sake brewery, you will be taken back to Nagano Station where the tour concludes at 17:00.
|08:45||Meet up with the guide at Nagano Station. The meeting point is across from the Shinkansen exit/entrance under the Information Board. Our guide will be there by 8:30.|
|Welcome to the Snow Monkey area!|
|We will get to Yudanaka from where we will head to the Snow Monkey Park. After a 30 minute walk through a beautiful forest trail we will have arrived at the Snow Monkey Park.|
|10:45||Arrival to the Snow Monkey Park, enjoy Japanese wild macaques bathing in onsen or frolicking around the park.|
|12:15||Have a lunch nearby the Snow Monkey Park.|
|13:00||Leave the lunch restaurant and head to Zenko-ji Temple.|
|14:00||Arrival at Zenko-ji Temple and explore the temple precinct with your knowledgable guide. After learning the interesting facts, enjoy your free time up to 30 minutes at Nakamise Street.|
|Enjoy Japanese sake tasting at a local sake brewery.|
|17:00||Return to JR Nagano Station.|
- Transportation fee from Nagano to the Snow Monkey Park and between activities/attractions
- Snow Monkey Park entrance fee
- Lunch (vegetarian options are available, please let us know beforehand)
- Sake tasting
- English-speaking guide
- Optional pick-up service (free pick-up service is available if you are staying in Nagano City around Zenko-ji Temple or Hotel Kokusai 21 from Dec 1 2017 to March 31 2018. Please click on the link for a detailed explanation)
- Bullet train tickets
- Optional entrance fee to the inner sanctuary of Zenko-ji Temple
- Please wear suitable shoes for the walking trail.
- During the winter it is common to see the Snow Monkeys enjoying the hot spring bath, however from spring up to autumn there will be times where the monkeys play or eat in the water, however please note that the monkeys are wild animals and there is no guarantee that there will be monkeys in the bath.
- There are a few days in the year that the monkeys might not come down to the park. In such case we will provide an alternative activity.
- Infants (0-5) is free of charge. A infant lunch is not included and the order will be made directly to the restaurant according to your needs.
- The tour application deadline is 1 day before the tour date at 17:00.
- Confirmation email of your reservation will be sent to you within 48 hours after booking.
MEETING PLACEGoogle Map
JR Nagano Station Information Board
Kurita, Nagano-shi, Nagano, 380-0921, Japan
What time of the bullet train should I ride to arrive in Nagano on time? What time does the bullet train depart back to Tokyo after the tour?
The start and finish of the tour are arranged according to the bullet train (called Hokuriku Shinkansen) timetable. See below for specific timetables on the bullet train departure and arrival times to/from Nagano Station.
Departing Tokyo Station – Arriving Nagano Station:
Tokyo: 06:28 – Nagano: 08:06 – Hakutaka
Tokyo: 06:52 – Nagano: 08:40 – Asama
Tokyo: 07:20 – Nagano: 08:43 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only) *
* You can still take 07:20 – 08:43 train since JR Nagano Station isn’t big at all and there is only one Shinkansen ticket exit. The tour meet-up is just after the Shinkansen ticket exit so please come straight up to there.
Departing Nagano Station – Arriving Tokyo Station:
Nagano: 17:34 – Tokyo: 19:12 – Hakutaka
Nagano: 17:55 – Tokyo: 19:20 – Kagayaki (reserved seats only)
Nagano: 18:22 – Tokyo: 20:00 – Hakutaka
What is the payment procedure after I submit a booking request?
Once your booking request is confirmed on our end, we will send you an electric invoice to the email address you submit in the reservation form. Once you have received the email, please click on the inserted link and complete payment either via credit card or Paypal.
I am staying in (Yudanaka/Shibu/Shiga-kogen) can I join the tour?
There definitely is a possibility, depending on the situation, to take this tour when staying in the Yudanaka or Shibu area! This also goes for those staying at the Shiga-kogen area, but only during the winter months. Please note that the meeting point will be Yudanaka Station for the former two and for the latter it will be Hasuike bus terminal. The time of meeting will change as well as the time of return. Please make sure to let us know at the time of booking as to where you are staying so we can inform you.
Everyday - All Year Around
8:45 - 17:00
JR Nagano Station Information Board